What is the real legacy of Liverpool’s ‘Fab Four’?

A new study from the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University will investigate what the legacy of the Beatles is worth to the economic and cultural environment of the city. 

The team will investigate what the value of the Beatles is, in monetary terms, to the city, and if there are any gaps in the tourism offer, as well as what the potential value of the band could be if these gaps were filled.

The report will also look at the other benefits of being linked to the Beatles ‘brand’, and what impact this has on the global reputation of the city.

Tourist attraction

Experts, as part of the Institute of Cultural Capital (ICC), will undertake the research which will involve stakeholders such as tourist attraction operators, music industry experts and members of the public.

Professor Simeon Yates, researcher at the University of Liverpool’s School of Law and Social Justice and Director of the ICC, said: “Creative and cultural industries are key to the economics and the identity of major cities. Making the most of the cultural heritage and contemporary culture – and for Liverpool, the Beatles are at the heart of both of these things – is at the core of this.

“Helping Liverpool understand and make best use of its cultural capital is a major aim of the ICC and we are incredibly excited to be working with colleagues across both Universities and the city on this project.”

Historical mapping

The research will be separated into three areas: historical mapping; space and place mapping; and cultural impact of the Beatles. The University of Liverpool’s Department of Music will carry-out a concise mapping exercise identifying all the historical events which tie the Beatles to specific city locations and spaces.

The ICC, which works across both Universities, will develop a map of the current cultural and heritage offer relating to the Beatles in the city. When completed, it will be compared with the results of the historical mapping to see how they complement each other.

The ICC and the Department of Music will follow the mapping exercise with an account of the past, current and future non-economic value of the Beatles to the character of Liverpool. This will examine the impact the band has on the social, community and cultural reputation of the city.

The European Institute of Urban affairs, based at LJMU, will use the outcome of the cultural research to provide an economic impact assessment of the current and future potential impacts of the Beatles legacy on the city.

Financial impact

Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for culture, tourism and events, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “Talk to anyone in or outside of the city about Liverpool and its history and you can guarantee the Fab Four will get a mention.

“We know that the Beatles are a massive pull in terms of tourists, but we don’t know exactly what this translates to in terms of financial impact on the city and where the gaps are.

“There is always a huge amount of debate around whether we as a city make the most of Beatlemania, and so this report will be a vital and informative piece of work which will shine a light on the legacy of the Beatles and what it really means to Liverpool.”

The report is expected to be completed in the summer.


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